The ideas of a precursor : ʾAbd al-Raḥmān al-Kawākibi (1849-1902), in relation to the trend of Muslim-Arab political thought
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The first difficulty which confronts the student of the ideas of ʾAbd al-Raḥmān al-Kawākibi is the absence of a full biography of the man; al-Kawākibi did not have his Boswell, nor would his personality have attached a faithful and admiring disciple as Muḥammad Rashīd Riḍa. He is nevertheless a well thought of figure, and he appears in the standard literary and biographical dictionaries. It is to be noticed however that all the biographical notes which refer to him have one and the same source: the two official documents which Rashīd Riḍa, editor of al-Manār printed in his obituary notice about al-Kawākibi. These documents and the life of al-Kawākibi given in al-Manār were used by all subsequent writers and editors of biographical compilations.